Melbourne and King Island birding

To: "birding-aus" <>, <>, "Chris Tzaros" <>
Subject: Melbourne and King Island birding
From: "Crispin Marsh" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 11:35:02 +1000
Dear Birders,
My wife and I had a good day on Easter Friday at Werribee. The Red
Necked Phalarope was still turning dainty circles on Walsh's Lagoon which
was a nice surprise. We then went on to the conservation ponds and found a
couple of Wood Sandpipers - unfortunately the long toed stint was not
showing itself. On our way out I had just got onto some breeding plumaged
White Winged Black Terns hawking over Lake Borrie when a front came through.
It got rid of the birds and just about blew us away as well. Subsequently we
picked up a pair in non-breeding plumage delicately picking motes off the
surface of a more protected pond. These were the new birds for us obviously - 
to undervalue the rest of the wonderful diversity and abundance of birdlife
at Werribee.

We flew to King Island on Easter Sunday. Susie Anderson suggested the airport 
as the place to find a bird that had eluded me a number of times. We arrived a 
full 2 hours ahead of our flight time and I did indeed pick up Purple Crowned 
Lorikeet at Melbourne Airport. Surprising how many musk parrots, eastern 
rosellas, crimson rosellas etc there are around there! Eventually on a large 
gum in the middle of the taxi spooling area I caught a glimpse of a much 
quieter, less brash
looking lorikeet and then saw three at close quarters.

We went on to spend a few days on King Island and got the big three plastics 
(or the three big plastics) within an hour of our arrival - and saw them every 
day. No luck with the California Quail despite driving through $80 of diesel in 
the hired 4X4. I searched the southern side of Sea Elephant inlet for OBPs on 
Tuesday 18th April without success. It was blowing around 35 knots which did 
not help any. I walked cross the saltmarsh to the beach and back seeing a lot 
of wonderful birds in the process (Hooded Plover, White Breasted Sea Eagle, 
both Oystercatchers, Common Greenshank, 1 Sanderling) but no sight or sound of 
an OBP. Chris Tzaros did say that he had only seen them on the northern side 
which would have involved wading the estuary which, given the weather, would 
have been rather unpleasant. It is only now that I am home that I am kicking 
myself at retreating to the cheese tasting with her ladyship instead of 
stripping off and going for the OBP on the north side!! We did see some 72 
birds and heard southern boobook so a great trip.
Peter Marsh
Birchgrove NSW

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